Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Challenges, Problems, and Solutions?

Wednesday greetings to all.

Yesterday, at a meeting of those involved in various aspects of Catholic publishing, I posed the question: "What do you see as the biggest problem or challenge facing the Church and what would you offer as a solution to that problem or challenge?"

The answers were quite varied. Some called for a new dawn of transparency and accountability for the Church's bishops. Others named the exclusion of women "from the table of decision-making" as a challenge. I shared my concern that for far too many baptized Catholics, the Church has simply become irrelevant.

The solutions were far harder to articulate than the problems, as is often the case.

How would you respond to my question:
What do you see as the biggest problem or challnge facing the Church and what would you offer as a solution to that problem or challenge?"

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

(Wow, no one has commented yet!)

As I see it, at least in my own parish, we don't any longer have a real sense of WHY we are to be at liturgy, and what the purpose is. I'm not going to the oft-heard exasperated sigh of, "people only go if they think they will 'get something' out of it." Rather, I think people need to know in their core that Something Good, something important, will come from their presence at the Sunday Liturgy.

I think in many places the emphasis has been placed (by the ministry as well as the people) on the attendance of the individual--YOU need to come to Mass so that YOU may receive the Bread of Life, and so forth. And on the action of the ordained, which the faithful witness in audience-like capacity, partake of, and then go home.

I hear very seldom the call that my simple presence and prayer will benefit the person standing next to me, or in the next pew, or in our inner city sharing parish, or across the world. I seldom hear that the Church is more when I am part of it, and less when I walk away from it. That when I am not there, the Body is not whole.

Because the thing is, if the only reason given to us as parishioners is that we need to "get some particular Thing" out of going to Mass--i.e., partake of the Eucharist--then that frees us to say, very logically, "well, they say if I go I'll get something out of it...but I really don't think I am getting anything out of it, and whatever I'm 'getting' really doesn't make any difference in my life, so why should I go?"

We need another reason. We need to hear what the other reasons are, again and again, as many different ways as possible.

I think that's our greatest challenge.